Social skills as predictors of peer acceptance during the first year of formal education
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Mendoza Palencia, Julitsa Paola
The objective of this study was to assess changes over time in social adaptation as a function of emotional and behavioral variables during the first year of entry to formal education in the Atlantico region of Colombia. Multilevel analyses were used to examine the degree to which social skills were antecedents of peer acceptance across the first year of formal education. In addition, growth curve modeling was conducted using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to assess the variables that account for between-person variance in the intercepts and the slopes of the children’s growth curves. Findings showed that (a) cooperative skills and control skills were more strongly associated with the intercept, (b) assertiveness was not associated with either the intercept or the slope, (c) the slope of time was predicted by none of the T1 measures and none of the individual T2 variables, (d) the slope of time was predicted by the interaction between cooperation and assertiveness, and between cooperation and self-regulation. It was concluded that the significance of any particular skill will vary as a function of another skill. The findings provide a new insight into the developmental pathways of children's social skills leading to peer acceptance.